Pass to Set Up the Run?

I’m certainly a ‘run-to-set-up-the-pass’ type of coach. I want to run the ball first, and use the pass as a big play.

In our fourth and final possession yesterday, we did the opposite. In the preceding 30 plays of the scrimmage, we’d thrown just once. For this series, we started off with our Option Run Pass Option, better known by it’s acronym Oprah.


This version of Oprah we call ‘Oprah Fat’ because it has a dive fake. (There is another version that works off speed option called Oprah Skinny.) Here’s a drawing of Oprah Fat against the defense we were playing yesterday.


Look for the wheel route first, then split end drag

The safeties were playing so close to the linebackers that we really didn’t treat them as safeties. We just called them extra outside linebackers.  #10 in the video was C1. Watch it again, to see how he is caught in between, then goes ahead and rushes the passer. (Been there with you kid – play action is built to suck guys up, and when you’ve only seen one pass in the last 30 plays, you just about can’t help coming up.)

The key to the play is the down block by the ‘trail’ back on the #2 man, typically a DE. I thought that this play would probably work to start the series, so wasn’t really surprised by its success. What I hadn’t considered was how it would impact the option on the very next play. (This was an alternating every 10 plays type scrimmage, running each play from the 25 yard line.) Watch #10 this time, stay with first the SE, then the A back. By the time he reads run, we’re eight yards down the field we have eight yards of space between him and the ball carrier. Then he goes to the pitch man.


Here’s a drawing of how it is supposed to work – but if C1 comes really hard, he can beat the A back block.

ISV - Dive Read Tackle #4, Pitch Read End #2

The lesson I learned yesterday is that your play action can set up your play, just as easily as your play sets up your play action.

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